Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery

by Peace Winds America
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
Japan Disaster: Relief & Recovery
ARROWS preparing for dispatch
ARROWS preparing for dispatch

Flooding and typhoons have continued to affect western Japan in 2022. In July of this year, Peace Winds’ airborne search-and-rescue team, ARROWS, jumped into action to support residents of Kumamoto and Kagoshima prefectures who were affected by heavy rain, flooding, and mudslides. ARROWS team members helped evacuate people and their pets and distributed supplies such as food, pillows and blankets, and first aid supplies to local schools which had become evacuation centers. Doctors on the ARROWS team also performed medical evaluations for evacuees. 

More recently, in mid-September 2022, the Kyushu region was hit by Typhoon No. 14, killing three people and injuring 133 others as well as causing extensive damage to homes and other structures. ARROWS was prepared early on to respond to this disaster as well, dispatching teams as soon as they were needed to help citizens evacuate and to distribute supplies to evacuation centers. 

Finally, it has been three years since the flooding disaster that struck western Japan in 2018 and has been called “the worst flood disaster in the Heisei era” (1989-2019). More than 8 million people were affected, and 225 were killed. Fortunately, the townscape has now recovered to the point that it’s hard to even tell the area was ever hit by such a tragedy. However, 400 people are still living in temporary housing, and construction work is still underway on the collapsed river. 

Peace Winds and ARROWS continue to implement disaster preparedness programs throughout Japan in preparation for more disasters like these. Activities include monthly in-person disaster response trainings for Japanese citizens, webinars and articles about how to best prepare, and community-centered activities where adults and children can come together to share their knowledge and experience in creative ways. 

Peace Winds would like to thank our ARROWS team members, local government partners and community members, and you, our donors, for making disaster preparedness and response possible in Japan. Follow Peace Winds on social media and subscribe to our newsletter using the links below to stay up-to-date on our programs around the world.

Distributing supplies at evacuation centers
Distributing supplies at evacuation centers
ARROWS helicopter
ARROWS helicopter
Distributing masks to evacuees
Distributing masks to evacuees

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In the wake of Japan’s major flood disasters in recent years–from heavy rains in Hiroshima in 2018 to mudslides in Saga in August 2021–Peace Winds has been working on community-building and disaster preparedness activities in the affected areas. Since November 2021, local residents have had the opportunity to attend various social events and workshops where they can get to know their neighbors and learn about best practices in the event of another natural disaster. 

One disaster prevention lecture in May 2021 began with a presentation from the sixth graders at Koyaura Elementary School. They spoke about their experience living in the town of Koyaura, Hiroshima in the wake of the floods in 2018 as well as the community's efforts for reconstruction. A Peace Winds staff member who attended the event has said how brave the children were to speak about the painful experience. They also created a disaster prevention map simulating the event, and our staff members noted that this could be used as a reference for learning about disaster mitigation in other areas. 

After the children’s presentation, Professor Murosaki of Kobe University and other professionals held lectures about disaster prevention and mitigation, giving recommendations about what to do in the event of future natural disasters.

At a separate event on May 29, Peace Winds held a “Peace Concert” and a disaster prevention workshop, attended by more than 100 families. The workshop event included booths where attendees could make emergency contact cards and learn how to make ramen noodles with cold water in the event of an emergency–knowledge that is crucial when citizens lose access to hot water or electricity.

Although COVID-19 restrictions in western Japan have been less stringent in recent months, cases are on the rise again, and Peace Winds has had to cancel upcoming events in the town of Saka, Hiroshima prefecture. Originally, Peace Winds had planned to conclude this program on May 31, 2022; however, due to the setbacks caused by increasing COVID cases, the project will continue until July 31 of this year. We look forward to hosting and bringing updates from even more community-focused events in western Japan!

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Peace Winds has received thank you letters from several municipalities in Hiroshima prefecture informing us that the Disaster Volunteer Centers are closing but that they will continue their support for the affected people following the floods in August 2021. The letter above reads: 

“We would like to extend sincere gratitude to everyone who has supported our activities. We do believe it was the strongest support for the affected people that you were always with us.

Even though our Disaster Volunteer Center is closing, there is still a long way to go before the affected people will be able to get back to their normal everyday life.

We appreciate your continuous support for our reconstruction.”

We would like to share these letters, with our warmest appreciation that each one of you enabled us to serve for the affected people on the ground.

In 2022, Peace Winds will continue to support the efforts of community-based disaster risk reduction not only in flood-affected areas but all over Japan, keeping in mind that every part of the country is prone to natural disasters.

Again, thank you so much for your kind support, and we hope you will stay with Peace Winds on our journey to reduce the risk and suffering from disasters as we believe it is worth the tireless work.

Community volunteers cooperating with PWJ
Community volunteers cooperating with PWJ
Kitahiroshima Town Volunteer Center
Kitahiroshima Town Volunteer Center
Social Welfare Council of Northern Hiroshima city
Social Welfare Council of Northern Hiroshima city
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Delivering relief supplies to a community in Saga
Delivering relief supplies to a community in Saga

In mid-August, Peace Winds visited Omachi Town and Takeo City, both in Saga Prefecture, which were severely impacted by the floods triggered by torrential rains throughout Japan. These two municipalities were among the areas that were also hit by heavy rains across northern Kyushu two years ago, which also caused mudslides and damage to roads and properties.

The higher rainfall this time caused even greater flooding and damage, and even homes and businesses located on higher ground were affected. Among the properties that were impacted were houses and other properties that were erected to replace buildings devastated by the disaster two years ago. This continues to be a cause of great distress for residents.

Among Peace Winds' humanitarian aid activities is the delivery of emergency supplies to four shelters in Omachi Town and eight shelters in Takeo City. The supplies we are delivering include clothing; beverages and foodstuffs, including for babies and infants; sanitary gels and other sanitary products; lamps; towels (supplied by IKEA); electric fans; pillows; insect repellents and insect bite treatments (a must-have item in shelters where windows are kept open as a COVID-19 countermeasure). Additionally, we provide free taxi vouchers for disaster victims in Omachi Town.

Meanwhile, in late August, our “ARROWS” airborne search and rescue squad dispatched a team to several parts of Hiroshima Prefecture that were also affected by the August floods.

We are continuing our investigations into each locality that was impacted by the disasters. At the same time, we continue to visit volunteer centers and social welfare organizations to deliver supplies for disaster-affected residents, including drinks, hygiene kits, care products such as shampoos, and towels.

We will continue our efforts to support those in the disaster zone with the aim of getting things back to normal as quickly as possible.

We kindly ask for your continued support in this mission, and send our sincerest thanks for your assistance so far!

Disaster management meeting in Saga
Disaster management meeting in Saga
Investigating the disaster area in Hiroshima
Investigating the disaster area in Hiroshima
Road damaged by torrential rains
Road damaged by torrential rains
Delivering supplies to an affected community
Delivering supplies to an affected community

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Peace Winds is working to provide relief for Japanese residents impacted by recent flooding in the country. As of August 14, 2021, 1.5 million people in Saga, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima alone have been placed under the highest emergency alert after rivers broke their banks, inundating homes. The danger is spreading, resulting in landslides, evacuations and deaths. In response, Peace Winds is conducting rescue operations and providing medical support in affected areas, led by ARROWS, our airborne search & rescue squad.

A wide swathe of Japan has been hit by torrential rains, which have forced rivers to burst their banks and triggered landslides. More than half a million residents have been placed under the highest emergency alert. Some have been forced to seek shelter after evacuating their homes, which have been inundated by the floods. Around a dozen deaths have already been reported.

ARROWS, an airborne search & rescue squad operated by Peace Winds, will conduct rescue operations, providing medical support in all affected areas and delivering emergency supplies. Peace Winds is also dispatching emergency relief teams providing medical support through doctors and nurses and logistic and other assistance at evacuation centers. The teams will also assist with the procurement and distribution of emergency supplies, including water, food, and sanitation products.

The rains are projected to continue for some time and flooding to spread, extending the need for relief efforts throughout Japan. Affected residents will continue to require support for considerably longer as repairs to homes and infrastructure will take time to complete, especially due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has escalated to new heights in Japan in recent weeks. This has caused many areas to be placed under lockdown, making the need for long-term support even more crucial. Peace Winds greatly appreciates your support in our efforts to provide immediate relief and long-term recovery to those affected by Japan’s latest disaster.

Overflowing Saga River
Overflowing Saga River
PW staff check maps for most affected areas
PW staff check maps for most affected areas
Delivering emergency supplies to a shelter
Delivering emergency supplies to a shelter

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Organization Information

Peace Winds America

Location: Washington, DC - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PWAmerica
Project Leader:
Wayne Nissly
Seattle, WA United States
$8,319 raised of $22,000 goal
 
88 donations
$13,681 to go
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